818-887-9162 info@tomerlin-erp.com

​Having bad customer service in today’s consumer society is like having a car with no wheels—you are going nowhere.

Having an attractive return policy gives you an edge up in highly competitive markets. Return merchandise authority (RMA processing) is the ultimate strategy for reverse logistics, no matter the size of the company.

But, what is the RMA process? What value does the RMA process in manufacturing offer for your company?

Keep reading to learn how implementing RMA into your return policies can make your life a lot easier and attract more sales at the same time.

What Is RMA Processing?

Online shoppers are expected to spend over $2.7 trillion globally in 2021. Ordering a product online and receiving it in the mail has become such a common theme in our society that it is hard to imagine that before 1994 it had never been done.

E-commerce has come a long way over the years, and many consumers feel perfectly comfortable ordering almost anything online. However, we still have some complaints – mainly with returns.

Consumers realize this isn’t a perfect world, and sometimes the product they purchased may be defective or damaged in transport. However, they expect that the company responsible for the mistake make good on their purchase promise and refund, repair, or replace the product without any hassle.

RMA Process Flow

An RMA is essentially only a number. That number identifies the product and the sales information attached to it. Looking up an RMA number gives manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers alike the ability to lookup logistical and sales data on each product they sell.

The RMA process flow starts with the manufacturer or seller. It comes in the form of a “satisfaction on delivery” guarantee. The seller is willing to promise that if the consumer is not satisfied with the product for specific reasons, they can send it back to the company to rectify it.

This identification number makes it possible to monitor and track products through the sales network. If in the end customer wants to make a return or exchange, the RMA number references eligibility and allows for a quick and seamless turnaround of the return.

RMA Processing

From Create to Fulfilled

The RMA process is created to handle returns through a logical decision process systematically. The manufacturer receives the product back from the consumer. Sometimes shipping cost is paid by the manufacturer and sometimes not.

With a worldwide industry of $3.5 trillion for 2019, e-commerce demands a respect that every order is honored, and every consumer is happy.

The procedure begins with sorting the RMA received into its end fulfillment goal and sending it down the line. Generally speaking, there are four types of return solutions:

  • Credit
  • Replacement
  • Substitution
  • Repair

A credit RMA is fulfilled by creating a credit RMA in the system by which the RMA is scanned, received and the refund issued to the customer. A replacement, substitution, or repair follows a similar yet different process but ends with the same—RMA fulfillment.

The system is self-contained, and every movement of the product and the money are tracked within the same reference number. The created RMA essentially programs itself to return and take care of the customer automatically—within the RMA process flow’s confines.

Best Practices

Having an RMA procedure and having an RMA procedure that works well are, all too often, two different things. In other words, there are a few ways to maximize efficiency and minimize failures within the return matrix.

There are several levels of sophistication an RMA procedure could possibly take on. Imagine the most sophisticated to imagine the most convenient.

The RMA is created and its number labeled to the package. If there is a need for a return, the customer removes the label, places it back on the original packaging, reseals the box, and sends it back with instructions to refund or exchange.

The customer has nothing left to do, and the manufacturer keeps the customer happy by an automated replacement RMA system.

Another thing to keep in mind: keep everything separate but within the same system. For example, the importance of maintaining physical linguistics separate yet connected to payments. The RMA order must be a clear and precise action that stimulates action as quickly as possible.

The real trick to RMA is to be prepared for it before it even arrives. Epicor ERP 10 software can help implement and integrate an RMA process right into your existing return policy.

Benefits of RMA for Consumers and Manufacturers

Returns are, well, let’s face it, a real hassle for any business. It eats away at sales and increases operating costs. Yet, returns are one of the most critical aspects of retail sales.

RMA processing makes returning defective products to the manufacturer effortless for the consumer. Receiving a dead-on-arrival (DOA) or otherwise defective product is about as bad a hit to public relations an organization can take.

An unhappy customer will take their business elsewhere at the first opportunity. There is no question that the public demands a return policy and if a purchase should need to be returned, the customer needs, or rather demands, an effortless way to do that.

It is a win-win. The customer is assured proper service, and the manufacturer gains invaluable consumer confidence.

Reap the Benefits of RMA Processing

Business is not about making money. Always remember to make business about helping people and doing that better than your competition.

RMA processing is simply the best way to serve customer returns and keep a positive relationship with your valued customers.

As a business consulting firm, Tomerlin-ERP is more than the systems we create. We simply develop software that streamlines your business to the best outcome. For more information about how our software integration can help your enterprise reach new heights, contact us right away!